Healthy workplaces

Where you work affects your health, including your physical, mental, economic and social wellbeing. It can also affect the health and wellbeing of your family and community. 

Promoting good health in your workplace can therefore create positive changes in your wider community.

Benefits of a healthy workplace

Organisations that have workplace health and wellbeing programs are known to:

  • increase employee morale and engagement
  • improve their company image
  • reduce workplace injuries and any related costs
  • encourage employees to enjoy work and stay in an organisation for a longer time.

Healthy workers are:

  • more productive
  • more engaged in their work
  • known to take less sick leave
  • more energetic and can concentrate better.

Workplace health and wellbeing programs

A successful workplace health and wellbeing program:

  • doesn’t have to be expensive
  • thinks about workplace health and safety
  • identifies health issues and needs
  • is voluntary and has high attendance
  • is sustainable and has long-term commitment
  • is assessed and reviewed when needed
  • looks at individual and organisational issues
  • is supported by management, and senior managers are involved
  • is accessible to all employees no matter what their health status, location or role is
  • has coordinators who have training in health promotion and relevant resources.

Tips for employers

You can provide a workplace that promotes and supports people to make healthy lifestyle choices by doing any of the following: 

  • lead by example
  • allow flexible working hours to help staff make time for sport and exercise
  • promote the use of stairs instead of the lift
  • promote moving regularly during the day and standing up every 30 minutes from a sitting position
  • encourage public transport and carpooling schemes
  • provide bicycle storage, showers and lockers
  • organise pedometer challenges or other walking schemes
  • encourage staff to join in corporate events
  • organise corporate gym membership
  • provide fitness equipment such as table tennis tables, stationary bikes, treadmills
  • support employees to quit smoking by offering time off to see their doctor
  • encourage the use of water bottles in the office and work vehicles
  • if you provide food, think about healthy options such as fresh fruit and vegetable platters, healthy sandwiches and wraps instead of high fat and high sugar foods such as fried and baked goods
  • if you provide alcohol, always provide alternatives including water and diet soft drink, along with healthy food
  • put up promotional posters - such as beyondblue - that encourage open discussion about mental health issues and where to get help.

Tips for staff

To help stay healthy during your work day you should:

  • ride your bike or walk to work
  • get off the bus a stop earlier
  • park further away from the office
  • use healthy food options for fundraising
  • offer healthy food and drink options at functions and meetings
  • use the stairs
  • stand and stretch every time you answer the phone
  • take walking breaks instead of coffee breaks at work, and go for walking meetings
  • include a stand and stretch break in your meetings
  • don't schedule meetings during your lunch break - go for a walk or go to the gym or pool.

Guide to workplace health and wellbeing

To find out more about starting a workplace health and wellbeing program in your organisation, read the Healthy Workplace Toolkit (19.0 mb).

Last updated: 17 October 2017